Sweet Dreams are Made of This

So our little Second Chance Pet Column caught the attention of an interesting organization called Tuck, based in Seattle and devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness. They create and disseminate comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources (check them out at The cool thing is they asked us to share information about pets and sleep. So as it such a universal and important topic (who doesn’t need sleep?!) we are going to cover some of their info today.

Let’s begin with looking at how much sleep dogs need. On average, dogs spend 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Canine sleep needs vary depending on age (puppies and seniors sleep more of course), size (larger breeds sleep more than smaller breeds), breed ,activity level, and overall health.

So what are dog’s sleep cycles like? Similar to humans and other mammals, dogs progress through different stages of sleep including REM sleep. The main difference between dog sleep and human sleep is time spent in the different stages, as well as a dog’s tendency to sleep in bursts throughout the day. Dogs tend to experience sleep-wake cycles of 16 minutes asleep, 5 minutes awake – quite the contrast with our typical sleep-wake cycle of 7 to 9 hours asleep, 15 to 17 hours awake.

When dogs fall asleep, they enter deep sleep. Their breathing and heart rate slow while their blood pressure drops. About 10 minutes in, they enter REM sleep and dream like humans. You can often identify this stage because their eyes roll under their eyelids, and they may start twitching in their sleep as they dream of chasing after squirrels.

Since dogs are always on the alert to protect their pack from intruders, they’re able to wake more easily. It’s common for them to wake up before completing a full sleep-wake cycle, from deep to REM sleep. As a result, scientists estimate they need to sleep more often overall in order to get their sufficient amount of REM.

In an upcoming Pet Column we will also explore dog sleep patterns and positions and whether your dog sleeps too much (is that possible???). But the rest of this Pet Column is now devoted to why you should adopt me.

My name is Coco and I am a 3 year young Catahoula Leopard mix. I arrived at Second Chance with my four babies after being rescued from a hoarding situation. Despite living in overcrowded conditions lacking proper socialization I am very affectionate and thrive from attention.

I get along well with dogs that are less energetic than me (which is most dogs as I do have my share of energy). I would do well in a very active family. I also would prefer a home with a large fenced area as I am agile and like to climb things. I would hope that once I get adjusted into a normal home environment I will not be looking to leave it. Come meet me today and see how we click!

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online:

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet or to learn about adopting a homeless pet and the SCHS spay/neuter, volunteer, feral cat or other programs. View our shelter pets and services at

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